Get Informed, Stay Inspired

The Security Council convenes to discuss the escalating situation in the Middle East.
Middle East World News

The Security Council convenes to discuss the escalating situation in the Middle East.

The meeting’s video livestream is set to commence at 3 PM.

This concludes our coverage of the recent emergency meetings held by UN News to tackle the escalating crisis surrounding the conflict in Gaza. Here are the main takeaways from the discussions:


  • The UN’s Martin Griffiths stated that anyone who was forced to leave Gaza should be permitted to go back, in accordance with international law. He repeated his plea for a cessation of hostilities.

  • According to Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, forcing people to leave an area without meeting the necessary legal requirements could be considered as forcible transfer, which is a war crime.

  • Some council members expressed concern about the dire situation in Gaza, with some advocating for an urgent ceasefire and others expressing apprehension about the potential spread of the conflict to neighboring areas.

  • in the ongoing conflict in Libya.

    Algeria’s Ambassador echoed the plea for a ceasefire in the ongoing Libyan conflict, stating that “silence is equivalent to being complicit”.

  • The Permanent Observer of the observer State of Palestine stated that the Palestinian people will remain and the Holocaust teaches that one should condemn all acts of cruelty, regardless of the perpetrator or victim. They also expressed that the current situation is a tragedy being witnessed by the world.

  • According to the Israeli Ambassador, there are no instances of forced relocation and Israel has no plans to remove the people living in Gaza.
  • Khaled Khiari, a high-ranking member of the United Nations department for political and peacebuilding affairs, expressed concern over the increasing confrontation between Houthi rebels and a coalition led by the United States that is protecting international shipping in the Red Sea. He called for de-escalation of the situation.

  • To access summaries of this and other UN meetings, please visit our partners at UN Meetings Coverage in both English and French.

6:00 PM

The US considers Houthi attacks necessary and appropriate.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield of the United States stated that the attacks carried out on Thursday night against Houthi targets in Yemen were intended to disrupt and weaken the group’s irresponsible assaults on commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

The strikes were both necessary and appropriate, according to her statement. She also mentioned that they were in line with international laws and within the US’ right to defend itself, as stated in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.

She informed the Security Council about the allies’ motives for the attacks and stressed that no one, including Russia, is exempt from the Houthis’ assaults on ships and vessels.

“As long as one of our ships remains at risk, all of our ships are at risk,” she stated. She also mentioned that since November, more than 2,000 ships have been redirected due to the threat of Houthi attacks. Additionally, the rebels have captured and held hostage sailors from over 20 different nations.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield of the United States addresses the UN Security Council meeting on the maintenance of international peace and security.

United Nations

The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, speaks at a meeting of the UN Security Council regarding the preservation of global peace and security.

She remembered the Security Council’s recent decision, which urged the Houthis to stop their attacks and denounced those who supplied weapons and aid for such actions.

The Ambassador stated that this resolution also acknowledged the natural entitlement of Member States to protect their ships from assaults, in accordance with international law.

She stated that the strike that occurred yesterday was the most recent in a sequence of defensive measures carried out by the US, in collaboration with other nations. This action took place amidst widespread criticism on a global scale.

The country’s Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield stressed that they do not want further conflict in the region.

She stated that our goal is uncomplicated: to decrease tensions and re-establish steadiness in the Red Sea, while maintaining the essential principles of unrestricted navigation.

5:43 PM

The Russian Ambassador, Mr. Nebenzia, stated that his delegation would have preferred the UN Secretary-General to brief the Council, considering the open and forceful attack on another nation.

The previous day, a group claiming to be an “international coalition” launched assaults on Yemen and its citizens. They used airplanes and ships to strike several cities, causing damage to airports and other structures.

According to the speaker, Gaza is also experiencing destruction as the conflict expands to the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. He states that the extensive attacks from the US and UK are not justified as self-defense.

He stated that the coalition’s actions are in violation of Article II of the UN Charter and that the Law of the Sea governs freedom of navigation.

In this vein, a dispute should be filed to the appropriate body. In line with Russia’s consistent calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, he said the Council’s attempts to do so have been obstructed by the US, which had given a “twisted explanation” for its criminal acts in Council discussions on the resolution it adopted on the Red Sea.

He claimed that the US and its allies have a history of committing severe transgressions, and accused Washington of concealing its actions in Syria with a flimsy excuse.

In regards to Gaza, he stated that the Middle East is currently experiencing a crucial circumstance.

He stated that if the situation continues to escalate, the area could face a disastrous outcome. He also emphasized that the US should take responsibility for this. Therefore, he urged the global community to denounce the aggression towards Yemen and to make more extensive efforts to halt the conflict in the Middle East.

5:37 PM

The safety of the broader area is facing growing threats: Khiari.

Khaled Khiari, an Assistant Secretary-General at the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) within the United Nations, stated that the ongoing violence in Yemen and the Red Sea poses a significant threat to political stability, security, economy, and humanitarian efforts. This not only affects the war-torn and impoverished country but also has implications for the surrounding region.

The speaker stated that the recent improvements in humanitarian conditions in the country are delicate and could be undone by future incidents. Additionally, the ongoing efforts to reach a political resolution to end the war in Yemen could also be jeopardized, ultimately affecting the people of Yemen who will continue to suffer from the consequences of the ongoing conflict.

On Thursday, armed forces from the US and UK, along with four other countries, allegedly carried out more than 50 airstrikes and missile attacks in Yemen. This was in response to previous incidents where the Houthi rebels attacked ships and boats in the Red Sea.

He cautioned that these advances in the Red Sea and the potential to worsen tensions in the region are concerning.

Mr. Khiari stated that the Houthis’ recent attack, which occurred after the Security Council resolution was adopted and yesterday’s events (which took place on Thursday), is evidence that the region is heading towards a dangerous escalation. This could have serious consequences for millions of people in Yemen, the region, and around the world.

He also remembered the request of the UN Secretary General for all parties to refrain from escalating the situation.

Mr. Khiari urged all parties involved to make every effort to prevent further escalation, decrease tensions, and show restraint. He also urged the Security Council to persist in its efforts to prevent further escalation.

5:35 PM

The discussion about the crisis in the Red Sea has commenced. Khaled Khiari, representing the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, will provide a report on the matter.

5:25 PM

The initial gathering in the Security Council Chamber, which took place this afternoon at the round table, has concluded. However, representatives are still present to converse about the increasing level of violence occurring in the Red Sea. This area is a vital route for international shipping and has recently been targeted by Houthi rebels along the Yemen coastline.

A short while ago, the leader of the United Nations, António Guterres, called on all nations involved in safeguarding the waterway from potential overflow from Gaza to prevent further escalation. This comes after the US and UK labeled the bombing of Houthi positions overnight on Thursday as a defensive measure.

The Secretary-General expressed concern about the increasing number of attacks by the Houthis, with more than twenty in recent weeks. The rebel group claims these attacks are in support of the Palestinian cause in Gaza, but they are deemed unacceptable and must come to an end, in accordance with a recent resolution passed by the Security Council.

5:05 PM

Erdan stated that Israel does not plan on removing the residents of Gaza.

The Israeli Ambassador, Gilad Erdan, expressed that the UN has held multiple meetings and passed resolutions, but none have condemned Hamas’s acts of aggression and hostage situations. Additionally, there has been no meeting to aid in the release of those who have been taken captive by Palestinian militants.

He stated that the Council has not taken any measures in the past 100 days and that Hamas has not allowed the Red Cross to visit the hostages.

According to him, these are indications of the identical cancer that is decaying the United Nations. He also stated that the UN has completely lost its moral authority and can only come together on one issue: condemning Israel.

“He stated that over the last 76 years, Arabs have made every effort to destroy Israel. There is not a single United Nations organization that has not been influenced by anti-Israel rhetoric.”

Ambassador Gilad Erdan of Israel addresses the Security Council  meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan speaks at the Security Council meeting about the current state of affairs in the Middle East, which includes the Palestinian issue.

The speaker stated that there is no involuntary relocation and clarified that Israel does not plan on removing the people living in Gaza.

He stated that there are those who would rather spread lies than tell the truth, and brought up the fact that Pakistan is forcefully removing thousands of Muslims from Afghanistan. He then questioned why this act of forced displacement, happening in a Muslim country, receives minimal coverage and answered his own question by saying, “no Jews, no news.”

Each and every United Nations organization has been transformed into a tool used to harm Israel, a country that makes up just 0.1% of the world’s population. According to a statement made to ambassadors, the UN General Assembly passed a higher number of resolutions against Israel in 2023 than both Iran and Syria combined.

According to him, Israel is in favor of providing humanitarian assistance. However, the Palestinian Authority has not denounced the Hamas attacks on October 7th and various UN organizations, including UNRWA, have been accused of promoting hatred and violence by praising Hamas and contributing to the creation of future generations fueled by animosity.

The Council has established multiple commissions of inquiry, with one third of them specifically targeting Israel, the sole democracy in the region. According to Israel, South Africa’s case at the ICJ represents a negative and oppressive society.

According to him, the accusation is unfounded and the entity that should be facing legal action is the United Nations, which has ignored the actions of Hamas.

He stated that Israel is engaged in a highly righteous battle and if a ceasefire were to occur, Hamas would persist in their acts of terror.

He concluded that it is time to reclaim control of the UN in order to hold it accountable to its initial principles.

A man searches through the rubble of his destroyed house in Sheikh Zayed City in the north of the Gaza Strip.

© UNICEF/Omar Al-Qattaa

A man is sifting through the debris of his demolished home in Sheikh Zayed City located in the northern region of the Gaza Strip.

4:52 PM

Mansour’s quote, “Life is sought after, but death is found everywhere,” highlights the bleak reality of existence.

Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations (UN), expressed gratitude to South Africa for bringing attention to their case against Israel for alleged acts of genocide in Gaza. This was done through a presentation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Mansour emphasized the importance of standing against any form of atrocities, regardless of who is responsible, citing the lesson learned from the Holocaust.

He urged for an urgent ceasefire to prevent the crisis from spreading to other regions, and emphasized the importance of preserving the lives of Palestinian children.

The Palestinians are desperately seeking a safe haven, but have been unable to find one. They search for a chance at life, only to be met with death at every turn.

Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, addresses the Security Council  meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

UN Photo/Manuel Elías

Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine at the United Nations, speaks at the Security Council session regarding the state of affairs in the Middle East and the issue of Palestine.

He claimed that Israel intentionally destroyed everything.

The violence caused death and injury among our young ones, medical professionals, reporters, technical experts, literary artists, and scholars. It devastated the basic necessities for living and having a life in Gaza.

According to Mr. Mansour, there have always been two ways to resolve the conflict. The first follows international law, ends the occupation, upholds Palestinian rights, and establishes a fair and lasting peace based on UN resolutions.

The speaker asserted that the opposing perspective holds a belief that Palestinians are willing to face death, expulsion, or domination, and is rooted in supremacist, racist, and criminal ideologies.

Emphasizing that the Palestinian population is a permanent presence and has the entitlement to reside in liberty and respect on their native soil, he declared that this is the sole route to achieving mutual peace and stability.

He stated that anyone who desires to promote peace and safety should refrain from instigating conflict and instead advocate for an immediate end to fighting.

4:48 PM

France supports the establishment of a Palestinian State and is actively working towards achieving this goal.

Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière, representing France as the current president of the Council for January, stated that immediate attention must be given to achieving a long-term ceasefire, with the support of both regional and international allies.

He stated that this is crucial for facilitating the distribution of greater amounts of humanitarian assistance. He also emphasized the importance of removing any barriers that could impede humanitarian access, and fully adhering to the guidelines set forth in resolutions 2712 and 2720 by this Council.

Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière of France addresses the Security Council  meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

United Nations

France’s Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière spoke at the Security Council gathering about the current state of affairs in the Middle East, which also encompasses the issue of Palestine.

He stated that France will persist in giving humanitarian, financial, and material assistance to the non-military citizens. He restated his team’s demand for the prompt and unconditional liberation of all captives.

The speaker stated that the Council should strongly denounce the acts of terrorism carried out by Hamas and other terrorist organizations on October 7th. These attacks included the use of sexual and gender-based violence as a tactic of war. The speaker also mentioned that France will persist in its efforts to impose sanctions on Hamas at a European level.

“In terms of politics, France will persist in pursuing a swift resolution to the crisis by recognizing two independent states with Jerusalem as their shared capital. This is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace,” he stated.

He stated the need to establish a nation for the Palestinian people. The Palestinian Authority holds a crucial responsibility in this endeavor, both in the West Bank and Gaza, as they strive to contribute to the formation of a Palestinian State.

The Council reaffirmed in its resolution 2712 that international law prohibits the forced displacement of civilian populations. The speaker also denounced the colonization policy, which violates international law and hinders the possibility of a two-state solution. They emphasized the importance of preventing a regional conflict.

4:15 PM

China calls for decisive measures to put an end to the war.

The Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Jun, stated that Gaza is a blemish on the moral conscience of humanity.

Ambassador Zhang Jun of China addresses the Security Council  meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

I am not able to reword this text as it is a photo credit and does not require rewriting.

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun spoke at the Security Council session about the current state of affairs in the Middle East, which also includes the issue of Palestine.

“It has been almost 100 days since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict began, resulting in the tragic deaths of over 23,000 individuals in Gaza and 200 UN workers and journalists,” he stated. These are not just statistics, but the loss of precious human lives.

Many nations frequently discuss the importance of human rights and preventing genocide, yet they fail to address the ongoing situation in Gaza.

“He stated that this is a double standard and called for strong measures to put an end to the conflict. He firmly rejects any forced displacement of Palestinians.”

We must take all necessary actions to ease the humanitarian crisis, and it is imperative that a ceasefire is announced immediately. According to him, only a ceasefire can prevent the failure of the two-State solution.

He stated that it is crucial for the international community, particularly influential countries, to prioritize achieving a ceasefire.

3:59 PM

The UK will not allow for the relocation of Gazans.

The UK’s Ambassador, Barbara Woodward, stated that her group strongly opposes any suggestions of relocating Palestinians outside of Gaza, including those made by officials in the Israeli Government.

Expressing concern about the unprecedented amount of extremist settler aggression in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and its destructive consequences, she urged the Israeli government to not only denounce such violence but also actively address and punish those responsible, while also safeguarding the well-being of Palestinian civilians.

She stated that the UK is highly dedicated to ensuring an increase in aid to Gaza.

She stated that prior to a lasting ceasefire, it is crucial to have frequent and uninterrupted pauses for humanitarian purposes. This will enable the release of hostages and the delivery of more aid to Gaza. In compliance with resolution 2720, she urges Israel to permit larger quantities of humanitarian aid to enter through multiple routes.

Ambassador Barbara Woodward of the United Kingdom addresses the Security Council  meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

This photograph was captured by Evan Schneider for the United Nations.

The UK Ambassador, Barbara Woodward, speaks at the Security Council gathering regarding the current situation in the Middle East, specifically addressing the Palestinian issue.

3:48 PM

cannot reword

Ceasefire must be implemented immediately: Russia cannot reword.

The Russian Ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, expressed that the dire situation in Gaza is evident in the large number of casualties, destruction of civilian buildings, and the displacement of two million people who are fleeing for safety.

Those who were compelled to depart have sought shelter in UNRWA facilities.

Although the attacks on 7 October are despicable, they do not justify Israel’s employment of military action in the Gaza Strip, according to him.

The Council has not fulfilled its responsibility to enforce a ceasefire, and it is disheartening to acknowledge that the United States has obstructed attempts to do so.

According to him, the actions taken to make life difficult in Gaza are forcing the Palestinians to make difficult decisions. He also cautioned that this could have severe repercussions for the entire global community.

Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia of the Russian Federation addresses the Security Council  meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

Photo taken by the United Nations photographer Manuel Elías.

Russian Federation’s Ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, speaks at the Security Council session regarding the state of affairs in the Middle East, specifically addressing the issue of Palestine.

He stated that steps are being taken to stop the forced removal of Palestinians from their territory, referencing global legislation and stressing the responsibility of occupying nations.

He stated that the proposal to flood Gaza would render the area unlivable, referencing South Africa’s recent case at The Hague and other cases brought to the International Criminal Court. He found it noteworthy that there have been reports in the media suggesting that Israel would persuade other countries to accept Palestinian refugees.

He stated that Russia’s stance remains the same, as they are advocating for an immediate end to hostilities. He expressed concern about the potential spread of the conflict in the surrounding region, including Yemen. He warned that without an immediate ceasefire, the Middle East is at risk of a full-scale war.

3:40 PM

Collaborate to plant the seeds of peace: United States

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Ambassador and Permanent Representative, acknowledged the humanitarian consequences caused by the conflict triggered by the terrorist attacks on October 7th by Hamas and other militant groups.

She stated that the current circumstances in Gaza, with more than 1.8 million Palestinians being internally displaced, are both heartbreaking and unsustainable.

The stance of the US has remained unambiguous – the people of Gaza should have the opportunity to go back to their homes as soon as it is feasible, stated the speaker. She mentioned that her nation has also emphasized that the citizens should not feel forced to evacuate Gaza in any situation.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield of the United States addresses the Security Council  meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

The photo is taken by Evan Schneider for the United Nations.

The United States’ Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, speaks at a Security Council session about the current state of affairs in the Middle East, specifically regarding the Palestinian issue.

“We firmly oppose the statements made by certain Israeli ministers and lawmakers advocating for the relocation of Palestinians outside of Gaza,” she stated, expressing concern that these reckless remarks hinder efforts towards achieving a lasting peace.

She also wondered why certain members of the Security Council are unable to condemn Hamas’ terrorist attacks, acknowledge the suffering of hostages, or denounce the rocket attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah on Israeli citizens.

“Why have certain members of the Council chosen not to hold Hamas accountable for their use of innocent civilians as human shields?” she inquired, imploring all Member States to speak up and pressure both Hamas and Hezbollah to take action in order to bring an end to the destruction and displacement they have caused.

Criticism of violent actions by settlers in the West Bank

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield highlighted an “unprecedented increase” in violence occurring in the West Bank.

She denounced the assaults carried out by radical Palestinian militants against Israeli civilians, as well as the attacks by extremist Israeli settlers on Palestinians and their belongings, resulting in the displacement of entire communities.

The United States strongly rejects the growth of settlements in the West Bank and condemns the violence associated with them,” she stated. “Settlements fundamentally undermine the feasibility of a two-state solution, worsen tensions, and damage trust between Israelis and Palestinians.”

3:35 PM

Remaining silent is equivalent to being complicit: Algeria

The Algerian Ambassador, Amar Bendjama, expressed concern over the disturbing images being broadcasted worldwide on a daily basis with no significant action being taken.

He expressed that the events in Gaza will remain a stain on humanity’s conscience and questioned if the death toll of over 23,000 was not already enough.

He stated that the cruel attacks on the enclave and deliberate destruction of anything living in Gaza can be seen as an attempt to render the area unlivable and destroy the possibility of Palestinians ever returning to their homes. He also noted that this destructive policy is backed by the occupying force.

He stated that the objective is to end the existence of Palestinian land, and stressed that this is being carried out through the use of forced displacement tactics and ongoing bombardment across the region.

Ambassador Amar Bendjama of Algeria addresses the Security Council  meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Algeria’s Ambassador, Amar Bendjama, speaks at the Security Council about the Middle East situation, which includes the Palestinian issue.

He stated that this plan is bound to be unsuccessful and that Palestinians have the right to reside on their own land. Any forced removal of Palestinians would be a direct infringement of international laws.

He mentioned that it is important for the international community and the Council to unite in speaking out against the displacement of Palestinians. He reiterated the need for a ceasefire and stated that remaining silent would be seen as an act of complicity.

3:25 PM

A high-ranking human rights official cautions that forcibly transferring individuals would constitute a war crime.

Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, began by highlighting what was “preventable” as the crisis deepens in Gaza and warned about the sheer scale of suffering.

She stressed the importance of holding those responsible accountable for the October 7th terror attacks on Israeli civilians, declaring that the tragedy will not be forgotten.

According to her, the current state of Gaza is not simply a side effect of the conflict, but a direct result of how the hostilities have been carried out. She brought up the forced displacement that began on October 12th, when Israeli authorities instructed Palestinians living north of Wadi Gaza to relocate south.

Ms. Kehris expressed concerns about Israel’s justification for safety, questioning its adherence to international law and the possibility of committing war crimes.

Ilze Brands Kehris (on screen), Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, addresses the Security Council  meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

United Nations

Ilze Brands Kehris (on screen), Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

Forced evacuations that do not meet the requirements for being lawful can be considered as forcible transfers, which is a violation of international law and a war crime.

‘Confusing’ evacuation orders

She stated that these instructions have caused confusion, as they often ask civilians to relocate to designated “humanitarian zones” or “known shelters.” However, these areas have been targeted in Israeli military attacks and do not have enough space to accommodate more people.

Ms. Kehris also notified ambassadors of a significant increase in aggression from Israeli settlers and security personnel in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. She also mentioned that some members of Israel’s leadership have called for the permanent relocation of Palestinians to other countries.

She stated that there are concerns that Palestinians are being intentionally displaced from Gaza and will not be allowed to come back, which is unacceptable.

Requirement for long-term resolution

In summary, Ms. Kehris emphasized the urgent requirement for a halt in fighting and the unconditional liberation of captives as vital measures towards a long-lasting resolution.

“We must also consider the future; the current violence is occurring in the midst of numerous human rights abuses over the course of several decades,” she stated. She emphasized the importance of addressing the underlying causes in order to find a lasting solution to the crisis, including holding those accountable for violations committed on and after October 7th, as well as those from previous years.

She stated that the key to establishing lasting peace is to guarantee fairness and the protection of the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis.

3:20 PM

Griffiths says that all Gazans who have been displaced should have the right to return.

Martin Griffiths, the chief of humanitarian affairs, stated that the attempts to send humanitarian convoys to the North have faced setbacks due to delays, refusals, and the imposition of unrealistic requirements.

He stated that disregarding the humanitarian notification system jeopardizes the safety of aid workers during their movements.

He stated that it is extremely difficult to offer humanitarian aid throughout Gaza due to limited access to Khan Younis and the Middle Area.

He stated that in this situation, if the conflict were to extend southward, it would greatly intensify the need for large numbers of individuals to flee to nearby countries.

The speaker stressed the importance of allowing all individuals who have been forced to leave Gaza to return, as required by international law. The speaker also expressed concern about recent remarks made by Israeli officials about promoting the relocation of large numbers of civilians from Gaza to other countries, which is currently being called “voluntary relocation”.

He stated that any effort to alter the population makeup of Gaza must be strongly opposed.

Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefs on the humanitarian situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

United Nations

Martin Griffiths, a top official in charge of humanitarian efforts and emergency relief, provides an update on the current humanitarian conditions in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Although Gaza is at the center of the current crisis, he reminded us not to overlook the 1,200 fatalities, numerous injuries, and hundreds of individuals who were captured in the violent assault carried out by Hamas and other armed factions against Israel on October 7th. He also mentioned reports of despicable acts of sexual violence.

Over 100,000 individuals have been forced to leave their homes in Israel due to the October 7th assault by Hamas and other armed factions, as well as the continuous launch of rockets from armed groups in Gaza and Lebanon.

He continued to express concern about the potential for this conflict to spread further in the region.

Mark on our moral compass

The speaker expressed that what has occurred since October 7th is a blemish on our overall moral code. If we do not take action, it will forever mar our sense of compassion.

He stated that individuals will persist in enduring and perishing due to rockets, bombs, missiles, bullets, and a growing amount of starvation, illness, and exposure.

“He emphasized the importance of preventing this from occurring and urged a ceasefire to be implemented. He also urged the Council to promptly address the situation and work towards bringing an end to the ongoing war.”

He restated his plea for increased adherence to global laws regarding humanitarian aid, such as safeguarding civilians and their necessary infrastructure, providing basic necessities for survival, facilitating necessary aid on a large scale, and treating all hostages humanely and promptly releasing them.

3:07 PM

The UN humanitarian leader reports ‘horrific scenes’ in northern Gaza.

The initial speaker, Martin Griffiths, who serves as the Emergency Relief Coordinator for the UN, addressed ambassadors and expressed concerns over the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza. He stated that the war has been carried out with little consideration for the well-being of innocent civilians.

The conflict in Gaza persists, resulting in numerous casualties and injuries, primarily among women and children.

The speaker stated that the evidence of the crisis can be seen in the 1.9 million civilians who have been forcibly displaced, which makes up 85% of the total population. These individuals are constantly traumatized and forced to flee due to the ongoing bombings and missile attacks. Additionally, the dire situation on the ground is evident with overflowing shelters and limited access to food and water, increasing the risk of famine on a daily basis.

Health system devastated

The healthcare system is currently failing. As winter approaches Gaza, the harsh cold weather makes it even more difficult for people to survive. It is extremely concerning that essential facilities for the civilian population are being continuously targeted and attacked.

A total of 134 facilities belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) have been struck, resulting in the deaths of at least 148 UN and non-governmental organization (NGO) employees in Gaza.

Despite being identified and notified to the Israeli Defense Forces, humanitarian sites have been repeatedly attacked. In just the past few days, two NGO buildings were struck.

The demand for people to evacuate is constant. As troops advance south, air attacks have increased in regions where civilians were instructed to move for their protection.

An increasing number of individuals are being squeezed into a continually shrinking area of land, only to encounter further aggression and hardship, insufficient housing, and a severe lack of essential services.

He stated that there is no secure location in Gaza and that living a dignified human life is nearly impossible.

3:05 PM

The Council for the month of January is being chaired by France’s Ambassador, Nicolas de Rivière, who has just opened the session with his gavel.

3:02 PM

The two high-level United Nations representatives will give updates to ambassadors through a video call, and they are currently visible on a large screen above the well-known horseshoe-shaped table, waiting for their opportunity to speak.

Both Israel and Palestine will have the opportunity to speak, possibly towards the end of the meeting.

Relief chief Martin Griffiths along with Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for the UN human rights office (OHCHR) are expected to brief ambassadors at the open meeting, called for by new Council member Algeria, whose ambassador has made clear he intends to represent the Arab voice in world affairs at this crucial time on the Council.

As tensions and threats escalate throughout the Middle East, a meeting has been scheduled to address the recent alarming incidents, including exchanges of fire along the border between Israel and Lebanon and attacks on international ships in the Red Sea by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The US and UK responded to Houthi positions in Yemen on Thursday night, a escalation connected to recent events in Gaza as the rebels align with Hamas.

On Wednesday of this week, the Council had private discussions in which it reviewed a report from the Secretary-General about the execution of resolution 2712. This resolution included a demand for “urgent and prolonged” breaks in hostilities in Gaza, as well as the swift release of hostages.

On Wednesday, the Security Council, consisting of 15 members, passed a resolution denouncing the Houthi rebels’ assaults near Yemen’s coast. The resolution was approved with 11 votes in support and four abstentions from China, Russia, Algeria, and Mozambique.